You know they love beauty… but you’ve bought them every Benefit gift set there is and their bedroom is already a lipstick graveyard? Go for gadgetry instead.
Just like pretty much every other industry, technology in the beauty world has come on a long way in recent years, and there are some seriously cool devices that deserve a spot under your tree. From tips to toes, deep cleansing and exfoliation to eyelash extensions in a tube, here’s our pick of the best gifts for a beauty geek.
1. Clarisonic Aria
The holy grail of beauty gadgets, it’s hard to find anyone who has tried a Clarisonic and subsequently shut up about it. Like a giant electric toothbrush for your face, its gently buzzing sonic head cleanses deeper than manual methods ever can, exfoliates like a whiz, and leaves skin so squeaky-clean that products sink in better and deliver on more of their promises. It’s especially effective on spot-prone or problem skin, but beauty buffs of all ages swear by it for treating everything from dullness to wrinkles and rosacea.
Available in limited edition silver and gold versions, the Aria model is an especially lustworthy bit of kit – with three cleansing speeds, illuminated battery indicator and a nifty magnetic p-Link USB charger. Buy it, give it and prepare for cries of ‘FEEL MY FACE!’ for several weeks afterwards.
Clarisonic Aria, £155
2. Bosch Keratin Advance Hair Straightener
It’s all ‘keratin’ this and ‘keratin’ that in the haircare world these days. To save you scratching your head and asking, ‘isn’t that the Olympic cycling thing?’: it’s the key protein that occurs naturally in our hair. Damaged keratin gives you dry, frizzy tresses, protected keratin makes it smoother and more resilient – and it’s the latter that Bosch’s Keratin Advance tools are aiming for, natch.
A great gift for anyone still battling with a pair of ancient ghds every morning, these quick-heating straighteners are ionised to prevent static and include a special ‘k’ setting to keep them at the optimum temperature for keratin protection. We’ve come a long way since the old ironing board trick.
3. Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes
If you can look past the pun, Younique might just be about the most youseful discovery you’ll make all year. The US brand has generated a social media storm this year with its innovative 3D fibre mascara, and now it’s available through independent sellers in the UK too (a bit like old-school Avon).
Using a tube of ‘transplanting gel’ and a stick of fibres made from green tea, Moodstruck builds up the kind of thick, fluttery lashes you can usually only get from fakes or extensions. Natural-looking it ain’t, but it will have people running across rooms to ask what mascara you’re using. A great gift for doe-eyed falsie addicts and anyone who loves the right kind of gimmick.
4. Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush
De ja vu much? Yes, Clinique’s new sonic cleansing brush is reminiscent of the market-leading Clarisonic, but it has its own USPs – largely being cheaper, a little softer on sensitive skin, and having a dual-textured brush head to target different areas of your face.
It’s quickly gathering fans and opening up the vibrating-face-brush market, which can only be a good thing.
Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush, £79
5. Trevor Sorbie Keratin + Argan Hair Wand
Featuring a barrel ‘infused’ with argan oil and keratin, Trevor Sorbie’s brilliant hair wand is a slick (not literally, don’t worry) and easy to use piece of kit that leaves your hair healthy and glossy, not fried. With a bigger barrel than most wands it’s ideal for creating bouncing, film star-ish waves, and there’s also a tong variety for those who like an old-style gripper. As close to a magic wand as you’ll find for under £50.
Trevor Sorbie Keratin + Argan 32mm-19mm Hair Wand, £24.99 (reduced from £49.99)
6. Profile Gellux LED nail lamp
Gel being the last word in nails this year (not hair, you’re thinking of 1997), the greatest gift you can give a nail-lover beyond 26 fortnightly manicures is the ability to do her own at home. Gellux’s LED lamp isn’t the cheapest on the market, but it is reliable, speedy and has a little stand to help get your thumbs right. It’s all in the details.
Profile Gellux LED Pro-lamp, £98.50
7. Micro Pedi
OK – it’s not a sexy present. In fact this is probably best given to someone if a) you really, definitely know that they won’t be offended by the implication that they have hooves like rhinoceros hide, or b) you don’t put your name on the label.
But for anyone who has ever complained about their feet or mentioned being too horror-filled to go for a pedicure, a Micro Pedi is a gift that keeps on giving. Or rather, taking – all that hard, dead skin away. Using micro-mineral rollers spining 30 times per second, it buffs gently but means business, leaving feet looking like they’ve never even met a high heel.
Micro Pedi Rapid Hard Skin Remover, £24.99
8. Babyliss Curl Secret
The most revolutionary hair gadget since Babyliss’ last triumph, Big Hair, the Curl Secret is that rare thing in the world of beauty – a gimmick that’s actually fun to use, as well as doing exactly what it promises.
You simply clamp it over a strand of hair and marvel as it draws it up into the ‘chamber’ (of secrets), heats it from all directions, and drops it back out again in a beautifully-formed curl.
Babyliss Curl Secret, £99.99
9. Foreo LUNA Mini
If the giant toothbrush approach doesn’t take your fancy, here’s a cleansing gadget with even more futuristic appeal. The Foreo LUNA uses up to 8,000 T-sonic pulsations a minute to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells, with two different surfaces for different levels of excavation. Made from brightly-coloured silicone, it’s super hygienic and doesn’t need replacing the way brush heads do. Plus, you can have some fun pretending you’ve bought them a tiny mystery robot.
Foreo LUNA Mini, £99